Can we sue for libel or slander?

Asked over 3 years ago - Harrisburg, PA

Recently my husband was given the option of being terminated or to resign. He chose resignation. With changes in his working environment we were not surprised by this. However, it has come to light that there was another reason as well. One of my husbands employees lied to new senior management about my husband's and another staffer's work intentions. The lie is one that not only affected the position my husband had, but may make it impossible for him to obtain work in his current field. Also, what proof do we need to have of this lie?

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Christian K. Lassen II

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . If false statements of fact were made, as opposed to merely opinion, he can pursue a defamation case against person. Contact a defamation lawyer in Harrisburg for a free consultation.

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  2. Brian C. Pascale

    Pro

    Contributor Level 19

    Answered . You need to know the exact statements that were made, as well as who they were told to.

    You should speak with a Personal Injury Attorney immediately.

    Here are the basics on Defamation:

    Defamation is a false statement of fact against an individual’s character or reputation, either intentionally or negligently published to a third person, holding the defamed person up to ridicule, contempt, hatred, shame, or disgrace. There are two types of defamation: Slander and Libel. Slander is an untrue spoken statement about a person that harms their reputation and standing in their community. A person injured by slander can bring a civil lawsuit against the party that made the false statement.

    Where a person is defamed in writing, it is called libel. Libel also includes television broadcasts. In many ways libel is more serious because it is more likely to reach a far greater audience. In New York a libeled person’s damages are presumed because the defamatory statement is preserved for a greater period of time.

    It is important to note that the statute of limitations for defamation is different in each state. A statute of limitations is the time that a civil or criminal action must be brought forward. The limitations period begins when a defamatory statement is communicated to someone other than the plaintiff. For instance, in New York, New Jersey, and California the statute of limitations is one year. However, in Washington and Indiana it is two years. Because the time to bring an action defamation is shorter than a negligence action, it is imperative that a person who believes they have been defamed speak with an attorney immediately.

    I assisted my brother in writing several articles on this topic. Two of them are listed below:

    http://www.suite101.com/content/defaming-the-in...

    http://www.suite101.com/content/will-justice-be...

    I wish you the best of luck.

    If you found this helpful I would appreciate your clicking the "thumbs up" below.

    Mr. Pascale is licensed to practice law in the State of New York. The response herein is not legal advice and does... more
  3. Galvin B. Kennedy

    Contributor Level 7

    Answered . To make a claim for libel or slander, your husband would have to prove, among other things, that a false factual statement was made. Many people mistakenly believe that all false statements can be made the basis of a slander claim. "False" opinions, if such a thing even exists, cannot for the basis of a slander claim. So, for example, if the statement published to the senior management was something like, "I believe John is looking for another job," the person making the statement might raise the defense that the statement was merely one of opinion. The strength of the claim is highly dependent on the facts in your particular case. I wish you the best of luck.

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